Data Processing

When I was little, my father worked at Prospect Hill which was, unsurprisingly, at the top of a hill. While I can’t remember what he did there exactly, there were computers and at that time, computers were new enough that they took up entire rooms. And, I’m sure just for our entertainment, had these great punch cards that we could use for all sorts of things.

Those computers were loud. Like “OSHA would now require you to wear earplugs” loud.  There was no doubt that those machines were processing data. As with most data processing, the more data a machine has to work with, the more outcomes exist. With their size and sounds, the impression those metal boxes gave me was that they could get a LOT of stuff done.

Some days, I feel like those old-time computers. The more I have to do, the more I can get done. Faced with a bunch of tasks, my organization-loving brain spits out (much like those old computers spit out punch cards) the order and requirements for each task so I can get right to it. I guess when I really have a lot going on I become sort of like a machine. Do this, then this, then move onto this, and oh, you’d like to throw a wrench into that? No problem, I’ll fix it and move on. On days when there aren’t as many demands on my time or projects I’m working on, there is a more measured approach to my work. Certainly, stuff still gets done and there is always a plan (gotta have a plan) and I appreciate the time available to dig deeper into certain things. There isn’t, however, as big a stack of outgoing papers so to speak as there is on days when personal, professional, volunteer and “other” come together in a perfect storm of need.

I really don’t want to be an automaton, and I don’t think I am. I’m just often struck by that fact that with more to do, more gets done. And I’m not the only one – so many of my friends are the same way. I wouldn’t trade that feeling of getting things done for much, so bring on the requests!


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